I have spent the last 5 months living and working in Vancouver, and I can honestly say I have not only lived in a hostel for a short period of time in Downtown Vancouver, but I have spoken to HUNDREDS of backpackers and the verdict is always the same:
The Samesun International Backpackers Hostel is the place to live.
It is located on Granville Street between Helmeckin and Nelson Street.
It costs $21 a night, which is about $3 or $4 cheaper than the other hostels in the area.
The hostel has a bar in the lobby, which is great, and they have a $3 meal special every day, which is usually REALLY good, especially the Sunday roast.
It is located next door and opposite a 2 pizza places (but the best one is a block further up at 898 Granville, next door to Starbucks (where I worked for 5 months - Say hi to the staff from Adam if you go in).
There is a Money Mart for cash exchange a few doors up, 3 clubs next to it (but it is generally quiet).
You are a 15 minute walk from the Seabus at Waterfront Station, and 5 minutes form the Skytrain station at Granville.
And if you are inclined to get any tattoo's or piercings, go to Adrenaline, which is a few doors down from the hostel (just before you get to Roxy Burger). Justine is a lovely young lady who does the best piercings in the city, and the tattoo artists are awesome.
You are basically in THE place to be.
(Central Station Hostel) BACKPACKERS - Vancouver 1038 Main Street, Though not pretty, the staff are straight shooters and helpful. The one problem is the noise.Windows Right on main street.The manager himself said," when a fire stuck goes by you feel like you are right in the passenger seat. Old but clean enough.
C&N BACKPACKERS - Vancouver
927 Main Street,
These people are liars.The short silver haired faggy head manager loves to flirt with all the girls.Talk straight to him and he becomes a military dictator, cold.The German girl there thinks she is of the highest elite.And You are an unwanted guest.Seaking truth is not allowed.They make rules and change them whenever they desire.If you book a room, you probably WONT HAVE ONE IF YOU ARRIVE IN THE EVENING.
I can't honestly remember how I happened upon your review of the youth hostel in Vancouver, but I felt that you'd given me all that I'd need to know, should I visit the city again. You covered everything! My son, and I always stayed at the Youth Hostel in Montreal, when we attended the Fireworks Festival, and Comedy Festival for many consecutive years, albeit we haven't attended in four years, because he's lost interest in travelling, period. That's the only hostel I've ever stayed at, but I love their prices versus a hotel.
I'll be travelling to Vancouver on 23 September, and sailing two days later, w/my 10 year old granddaughter on a Pacific Coastal cruise to Los Angeles, where she lives. I want to indoctrinate her in the pleasure of being at sea. I began sailing many years ago, when I didn't know another soul locally, who'd ever done it. To me, it's the most relaxing way to travel. The meal listings are extensive, the shows generally entertaning, and it gives me a chance to discuss, w/others, their favorite travel destinations if they're so inclined. My son, feels the ships aren't in port long enough to really get a feel for the city visited. That's true, but it amply satisfies my curiosity in most ports. I, also, thoroughly enjoyed trips to various countries w/him, and especially because he walked me so many miles sightseeing that I'd lose 11 pounds on each trip. He's gifted in that he picks up enough of a local language to ask directions, read bus signs, menus, etc.
When we were in Jordan (just prior to the USA invasion of Iraq), and the guide I hired, asked where he'd learned Arabic, and was surprised that he'd been learning it after our arrival there. He offered to let him room w/his family, to become more proficient, and stated that Arabic is the same in all countries, w/only a slight variation in accent. While I didn't want to put my son up for an adoption, I did think that he should accept this invitation, to avail himself of the many opportunities w/our State Department, etc., for interpretors. Alas, how many kids share the same vision for their future, as their parent? He wasn't however, able to read Arabic writing, which he was able to do in European restaurants, Japan, China, etc.
Obviously, I've reached the requested 75 words (long ago), so Bon Voyage to ya'll. Diane from upstate New York.
Hostelling International: Vancouver Downtown is one of the best hostels in Canada. In fact, anywhere. Forgive me for starting with such a sweeping statement, but I stayed there, and met many people who have stayed there, and we all agreed on one thing: if it had a bar it would be perfect. Located in the Western downtown area, the hostel is perfectly placed for anyone visiting Vancouver. All the major attractions of the city are within easy walking distance, from Gastown to BC Place Stadium, meaning the extra (cheap) expense of public transport is only necessary for a few destinations. The hostel was opened several years ago, since the other Hostelling International residence in the area (Jerricho Beach) was becoming overcrowded and too far from the places travellers wanted to go. Be warned too, the Jerricho Beach hostel is said to be particularly rough. The cost for a bed in a ‘quad’ (two bunk beds) room is approximately twelve pounds per night. That’s it. There are over two hundred beds available for use, so even in busy periods (I was there the week before Christmas) you should have no trouble finding a place to stay. Private double rooms are available, at about thirty pounds a night for the pair of you. No service charge, or twenty percent tip expected. This is a few pounds to stay in the equivalent of a good hotel, and in the most exciting part of possibly the nicest city in Canada. Vancouver is a beautiful place. It is clean; everything works; you are surrounded by the Rocky Mountains; the only problem is the absolute abundance of homelessness. The authorities do not appear to be doing enough to solve this problem, and be prepared to be asked for money on the way from your hostel to the shops. Facilities within the hostel are as good as those found in a decent English hotel. Bathrooms are not private, but there are one male and one or two female bathrooms to a floor of only ten rooms. Therefore there is
rarely a queue for a shower! The showers themselves are excellent, the temperature is controlled not by luck, but by you. A hot shower will stay hot for its duration. The toilets do not look like they were imported from a sewer, they are clean and working. Throughout the hostel are facilities for the traveller to maintain and enjoy a high standard of living. Washing machines and dryers are avilable, although only five to the entire hostel, so be prepared to wait or venture out to a Launderette. A games room with pool table and (very dated, including Ms.Pacman) arcade games is present. There are a number of internet consoles throughout the building, so keeping in touch with people by e-mail is easy. Payphones are also in abundance, so complete segregation from home is unlikely. There is a large kitchen in the hostel, so you do not have to eat at restaurants every night. It should be emphasised that food is NOT included in the price, so be prepared to go out and buy some. This should not be a major problem, since supermarkets are two minutes’ walk down the road. Food in Canada is, as a general rule, half the price of that in Britain. This hostel needs one more thing: a bar. However, I have done some rsearch and none of the Hostelling International hostels in Canada have them. This can be a blessing, of course, no throwing your money down the toilet (literally!!). However, even if you do not drink, there is a wonderful social element that goes with being in a bar full of travellers, and be prepared to go more out of your way to meet people than if there was one. This is, of course, all part of the challenge and thrill, and the hostel arranges different social events every day, from pub crawls to visits to the local tourist sites. These are excellent opportunities to hear from the locals of Vancouver who really know the city. The highlight of the hostel for myself was the overuse of the word ‘can’. Rather than being a pe
tty recycling request, or reference to the toilet, it was the emphasis everywhere that you CAN do things. You CAN ask the reception staff to receive or pass on messages for you. You CAN borrow bed linen, or a towel, or pretty much anything within reason. The staff are friendly, knowledgable and efficient. In fact, to call them staff is disrespectful. They are people, human beings. They love to talk and share your experiences with you. They are volunteers, helping this excellent chain of hostels (did I mention Hostelling International is a non-profit making organisation? You really do get what you pay for at this hostel) to allow travellers the experience of a lifetime. There is no petty list of rules, like ‘no entering after nine o’clock’, or ‘leave the building during the day’. The cleaners do not even enter your room and go through your things. They poke an arm round the door and change the bin lining. That’s it. No invasion of privacy. In this hostel you are free to come and go as you please, and enjoy this wonderful city at your own pace. There is even a file on which you can write any taxi destinations you may have during the day, so fellow travellers can share the taxi, and, of course, the cost. This hostel is good enough to live in all year round. If you are planning to visit Vancouver, you really should stay here. It is an excellent hostel in a fine city. Even the lack of a bar is superseded by a wonderful environment for travellers. You won’t be disappointed.